PORT ST. LUCIE — The gates had not even opened. The field was not even ready for batting practice on his first “game day,” as a big league manager and Mickey Callaway had to make an important move. The Mets first-time manager had to bench one of the organization’s top prospects for showing up late to work.
Otherwise, Callaway had a “great,” time managing his first game.
“It’s different. I have different responsibilities on the bench,” Callaway said. “It was fun today, taking guys out, you have to talk to everyone of them. If I take a guy out, I have to talk to two people at a time, so (bench coach) Gary (DiSarcina) did a great job of making that happen. I have responsible to put on signs now in situations. That’s something I am getting used to. We’re not giving a ton of signs early in spring training. I am going to start looking to (third base coach) Glenn Sherlock when giving signs in those instances and getting used to it.”
Callaway began his day by benching Dominic Smith for showing up late to team meetings. He called it “a little shocking,” that Smith, who is targeted for Triple-A after a disappointing major league debut last fall, would be late on the first day of games.
“It’s the first thing we said in our little meeting about expectations,” Callaway said of being on time.
While Callaway didn’t broadcast what happened, he allowed Smith to address it with reporters first, he definitely set a tone with the team. After preaching accountability to the team for the past two weeks, he showed that he will consistently mette out the consequences.
“The team knows. I didn’t say anything, but they know, they are around, they knew who was supposed to play and who wasn’t in there,” Callaway said.
Matt Harvey threw his last live batting practice Friday and pitching coach Dave Eiland called it “very encouraging.” The one-time ace threw all his pitches facing minor league catcher Tomas Nido and minor league outfielder Tim Tebow.
“He’s repeating his delivery really well, it’s hard to pick up the pitches,” Nido said. “He looked good.”
The Mets rallied for six runs in the bottom of the eighth to beat the Braves 6-2 Friday. Minor league outfielder Zach Borenstein had a double and two RBI. Corey Oswalt pitched two scoreless with four strikeouts, while Hansel Robles, Jacob Rhame , Jamie Callahan and Drew Smith each pitched scoreless innings. Chris Flexen gave up a run on two hits and Tyler Bashlor allowed a run on a hit and two walks. … Asdrubal Cabrera, who is being eased back into the lineup, said he expects to be in a game by Sunday.
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